Interview with EUROKLIMAT - technical advantages of EKO.E propane chillers

By Caixia Mao, Mar 17, 2015, 10:46 4 minute reading

EUROKLIMAT is marketing its EKO.E air-cooled water chillers on, which use environmentally friendly propane (R290) as a refrigerant to provide ecological, efficient and reliable cooling in commercial and industrial applications. In an interview with EUROKLIMAT, learns about the technical advantages and obstacles of the chillers. 

In response to market demand from Scandinavia, EUROKLIMAT began developing water chillers using natural refrigerants ten years ago. The EKO.E air-cooled water chiller range uses propane as the working fluid, making them especially environmentally friendly solutions for outdoor installations in applications such as air conditioning and process cooling, among others. The thermodynamic properties of the propane refrigerant deliver significant technical and energy savings results.
The chillers have a cooling capacity between 48 kW and 430 kW at a condenser air temperature of 25°C and use a semi-hermetic reciprocating compressor fixed to an anti-vibration system and complete with a pressure lubrication system. The EKO.E system housing is comprised of painted galvanised steel base and panels mounted on aluminium profiles to resist weathering. 
Speaking to R290, one of the technical subjects we have explored is the overheating on the suction side. This is a very important parameter to control in R290 chillers, in order to grant reliability of the units in the long term. In some applications an additional exchanger is requested to grantthe correct gas overheating; the source is the liquid leaving the condenser that, by subcooling, improves the thermodynamic performances of the refrigerant as well. We have been working hard in order to find the right exchangers since the pressure drops on the suction side must be kept at the minimum. At the end we have identified a product line specifically designed for this application that has fully satisfied our factory test and so our customers,” explained Matteo Gaggianese, Technical Manager at EUROKLIMAT.
On the subject of safety
EUROKLIMAT’s dedication to safety is apparent in many of the preventative and precautionary features of the chiller. The low speed, axial-flow fans are fitted with an accident-prevention protective grill and use a directly coupled motor with built-in thermal cut out. 
In addition, the aerodynamic fan housing and wing profile blades add increased efficiency and decrease noise. To ensure a high level of safety, the unit is equipped with a special gas detector for flammable gases, including two alarm levels and microcompressor control with LED status indicator. 
The microcompressor controls the unit capacity by timing the compressors and checks the operating alarms with the possibility to connect to BMS. The electrical board meets standards IEC 204-1/EN60204-1 and is complete with contactor and protection for the compressor and fans; it is the main isolator and door interlock safety device and is externally hung on one side of the unit.
The air heat exchanger is a finned coil made with copper tubing and aluminium fins to offer a high exchange surface area. The plate-type water heat exchanger is made of steel and has a water differential pressure switch. Can you tell us what sort of feedback you’ve received for the EK line?
2014 has been an important year for us since we’ve started focusing on promoting R290 as a EK strategic choice in the market. After more than 10 years not participating in exhibitions, we exhibited at Chillventa in Nuremberg last October, with a stand completely devoted to R290. The result was even better than we were expecting! We also decided to Partner with, as we believe that having a community focused in this specific business can help us to get “filtered” info from the huge amount of news we receive from the global market,” commented Francesco Cattaneo, Sales Director. How do you see the market for hydrocarbons developing in 2015?
2015 is another step forward for hydrocarbons, as the deadlines outlined by the F-Gas Regulation have indicated reducing high-GWP refrigerants. The general discussion surrounding R290 make our decision-makers more aware that R290 is an excellent refrigerant and that its weakness, flammability, can be easily controlled. Until a few years ago, R290 was simply refused by most of the market; people were not considering it an alternative and saying its was too dangerous. Today, we have met with many important refrigeration market players that are now seriously considering the use of this natural gas because of its undoubted technical advantages joined to the fact that it is not a product of chemical synthesis,” said Andrea Mastrosimone, Export Manager.
Originally founded as Klimat, EUROKLIMAT got its start in 1963 as one of the first companies to offer semi-hermetic compressors in the Italian market. The company now operates around the globe, dedicated to producing air conditioning and industrial refrigeration systems, thermoregulation systems and compressed air dryers. 


By Caixia Mao

Mar 17, 2015, 10:46

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